Gallery: Skylines at Daikoku Futo

29th December 2016

Throwback to 2006 and my first trip to Japan. Meeting up with the Skyline GTR gang from the bay area and driving down to Daikoku Futo Parking Area (just off the Metropolitan Expressway Bayshore Route or Wangan-sen, between Tokyo and Yokohama) thanks to Dino from JTuner/Speedhunters. It started raining on the way home, but the video below shows us doing over 280 km/h (170 mph) when we hit the dry tunnels. Good…

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Feature: Volkswagens of Ginza, Tokyo

23rd March 2015

It’s a well known fact that all cars look cooler with a Japanese license plate, here are some examples of how the Japanese can modify and restore Volkswagens with a touch of class. I know nothing more about these cars, other than they were all cruising around Ginza on a Sunday afternoon. Ginza is more famous for its high-end department stores than its car culture and you are more likely…

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Feature: Itasha Culture

8th March 2015

Akihabara (also known as Akiba) is known as Electronics town. The area became famous after World War II and was THE place in Tokyo to buy radio and electronic equipment on the black market. Nowadays, Akiba is synonymous with the Otaku subculture. Often misrepresented as ‘nerds’, the term Otaku encompasses anyone with a passion for something; usually comic or gaming related. Akiba is a hub for manga, anime and gaming; so when you throw…

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Photo: R246 Akasaka, Tokyo

21st February 2015

If you’re a Gran Turismo fan, you may recognise the final hairpin of the R246 track in the photo. It wasn’t planned, but my hotel was located on the final corner of this fictional race track. We were coming back from Fuji Speedway when Mike pointed out that we were driving part of the track as we approached the hotel. As it was Golden Week and the roads were quiet, we…

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Feature: Initial D Arcade Stage 4 Limited

22nd January 2015

Ok, it’s an Initial D post and if you’re not a fan, then don’t worry – you’re probably here because you like either; A) Japan, B) Cars or C) Cool Shit; and you can see the photos – so you already know this is going to be awesome.   Initial D Arcade Stage games have been a ‘thing’ in Japan since around 2001. Rarely seen outside of Japanese waters, you will…

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Japan, December 25th 2014

25th December 2014

After the cancellation of our original flight, I tweeted Virgin Atlantic and jokingly asked if they would change our return flight for free – waving the £100 admin fee. To my surprise, they phoned me immediately and did everything they could to help. We were due to return on Christmas Eve, but with their help, we rearranged our departure date to Boxing Day. This meant that we could spend Christmas…

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Photo: Itasha in Akihabara

24th December 2014

This pair of Itasha cars pulled up at the lights as I walked home from shopping in Akihabara. Both the Toyota Celica T230 and the Nissan Silvia S15 were adored with images of Hanayo Koizumi, a character from Love Live! School Idol Project – a manga/anime based on an Idol band inspired by Akihabara’s own AKB48.  

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Japan, December 21st 2014

21st December 2014

Whilst incapacitated yesterday, the thought of a day walking around town was a distant dream as I drifted in and out of opiate induced unconsciousness. However, despite the pain this morning, I soldiered on like a little hero as we headed off to the station. Our destination was Ginza, a handful of stops on our metro line and within a reasonable taxi ride if I should be rendered disabled again….

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Photo: Inaricho Station

15th December 2014

Inaricho was our local station when we stayed near the more popular destination of Ueno. Inaricho is famous as a Funeral Shrine town – so who wouldn’t like to stay there? OK, maybe being known as a Funeral Shrine town isn’t something that will pull in the tourists from abroad; but it is a great location for staying in Tokyo (especially on a budget). Inaricho Station is located on the…

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Japan, December 15th 2014

15th December 2014

Returning to Heathrow for a second day, it was looking like there were more issues when after 30 minutes, they still hadn’t given us a gate to depart from. By now, even the Japanese passengers were beginning to show signs of frustration. Once Gate 13 (you couldn’t make it up) was shown, everybody breathed a small sigh of relief. The mood was further lifted by the apparent confidence of the…

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